1. Approved�the amendment of FY 2003 2004 and FY 2004 2005 biennial operating and capital budgets; 2. Adopted a finding that a fare increase is necessary to meet operating expenses, including employee wages and fringe benefits and purchasing or������� leasing supplies, equipment, or materials; 3. Invoked a Statutory Exemption under CEQA, P. R. C. �21080(b)(8) and CEQA Guidelines Section 15273(a) (Rates, Tolls, Fares and Charges) for the purpose of modifying and increasing fares; and 4. Adopted Resolution No. 04.06.11 establishing new rates and fares for VTA bus, light rail, and paratransit services effective January 1, 2005.
Inquired about the percentage increase for youth fares.
Kevin Kittila, Interested Citizen, noted�that the fare increase is unfair and stated that the people will not be able to afford the proposed fares.
Board Member Dando left her seat at 6:21 p.m.
Joseph Iwami, VTA Employee, commented�that raising fares is punishing people who are in need.� Mr. Iwami commended the Board for deferring the fare increase last year.� Mr. Iwami suggested stopping shuttle services for private agencies and urged the Board � to be more innovative and creative in solving problems.��
Board Member Dando left her seat at 6:22 p.m.
Graham Clark, Fremont Union High School District, read a letter from the Superintendent.� Mr. Clark highlighted that the cost of the proposed youth fare increase will cause greater financial shortfall to the school districts budget and will inevitably force further cuts in staff and programs.
Chris Clark, Interested Citizen, expressed concern�on fare increase and noted that people would not be able to afford riding a bus.
Lupe Medrano, San Jose State University and Interested Citizen, inquired�about the source of the statistics in the memo.� Ms. Medrano noted that the fare increase causes undue hardship to people.�
Chairperson Gage left his seat at 6:27 p.m.
Chairperson Gage took his seat at 6:28 p.m.
Mr. Bradley expressed disappointment on the proposed fare increase and service cuts.� Mr. Bradley noted that cost of the new fares will cost the same as driving.�
Alicia Shreffer, San Jose City College (SJCC) and Students for Justice (SFJ), distributed a copy of a resolution entitled Resolution in Support of Save our Transit: Phase II.� She noted that transit fares should be affordable.
David Dias, American Lung Association of Santa Clara-San Benito Counties, commented that the youth should be encouraged to use transit.� �
Stuart Cohen, Transportation and Land Use Coalition, distributed a hand out entitled VTAs Fare Hikes: Cruel and Unusual Punishment.� Mr. Cohen commented that the fare policy should be looked at on a long-term basis and the farebox recovery ratio goal should be implemented within five years and not immediately.
Nathan Cardon, Grace Baptist Church, stated that fares should be reduced.
Board Member McLemore and Ex-Officio Board Member Beall left their seats at 6:35 p.m.
Latoria Williams, SJCC and SFJ, noted concern�that service is declining while fares are increasing.� Ms. Williams noted that the proposed fare increase will make transit more inaccessible.� Ms. Williams further noted that increasing fares will not increase ridership.
Theresa Barnes, Transportation Coalition, noted that people cannot save money if there will be fare hikes.
Board Member Casas left his seat at 6:37 p.m.
Robert Carvalho, Interested Citizen, distributed a hand out entitled Farebox Recovery Ratio Analysis, VTA Compared to Local Peer Operators.� Mr. Carvalho urged that the overhead costs be reduced.�
Board Member Casas took his seat at 6:38 p.m.
Herman Schmitz-Salue, Interested Citizen, noted�that there is a need for bus and that people should be encouraged to use public transportation.� Given the economic situation, he stated that it is not the best time to increase fares and urged the Board to expand service and not to increase fares.
Board Member Gonzales left his seat at 6:40 p.m.
Ms. Okuzumi stated that the people willsuffer if the fare increase is approved.�Ms. Okuzumi noted that VTA should find other solutions other than increasing fares.�
Donna Wallach, Justice for Palestinians, stated that increasing the already expensive bus fares is inappropriate.� Ms. Wallach noted that the bus system is inefficient.� Ms. Wallach suggested putting pressure on the federal government to stop the war and funnel the money back to counties and cities.
Board Members Gonzales and McLemore and Ex-Officio Board Member Beall took their seats at 6:42p.m.
Darlene Wallach, Justice for Palestinians, stated that the current bus system only serves the rich and not the poor.� Ms. Wallach stated that VTA should start serving the community.
Tom Fink, Amalgated Transit Union Local 265, recognized the need to increase farebox recovery but cautioned that the proposed fare increases might decrease ridership.�����
Jenny Huang, Public Advocates Inc., commented�that VTA ignored transit needs of the majority.� Ms. Huang noted that the fare increase makes transit more unaffordable and inaccessible.� Ms. Huang noted that VTA should identify other just alternatives in solving the problem.
Lowell Grattan, Interested Citizen, cited an excerpt about transit plan and fare increases.� Mr. Grattan noted that the people were promised a light rail that runs 60 miles per hour.� Mr. Grattan suggested pausing the light rail service and focusing on the buses.
Board Member Cortese left his seat at 6:47 p.m.
Marco Lopez, Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), noted the need for public transportation and urged the Board to make decisions that are just and humane.
Board Member McHugh left his seat at 6:50 p.m.
Lindsey Leong, California for Justice (CFJ), La Raza Student Alliance SJCC, expressed concern that the Board does not listen to public comments.� Ms. Leong stressed the need for public transportation.
Christopher Lepe, Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC), noted that the savings described in the memo should be used instead of raising fares.� Mr. Lepe stated that VTA should increase productiveness and not penalize bus riders by increasing fares.
Manuel Aparicio, Interested Citizen, urged the Board to consider the vulnerable people in their decision to increase fares.� Mr. Aparicio stated that fares should be lowered to increase ridership.
Robin Anderson, VTA Riders Union, stated that fares should not be increased.� He stated that VTA should cut administration cost.� Mr. Anderson noted that light rail should be stopped and service should be expanded.
Bruce Stevens, Interested Citizen, advised that there is not enough signage to let people know that they need to pay in order to ride the light rail.�
Ricardo Rivas, Interested Citizen, expressed concern that the fare increase will affect the youth of Santa Clara County.
Yevgeniy Lysyy, Interested Citizen, suggested taking some monies from Measure A for bus service.� Mr. Lysyy stated that the bus service should be expanded. Mr. Lysyy further noted that drivers should drive smart in order to save fuel.
Adiya Hines, SFJ, expressed concern�that people might move out the County due to higher cost of living.�
Board Members Cortese and McHugh took their seats at 7:05 p.m.
Board Member Williams left his seat at 7:05 p.m.
Rose Deterding, Visionary Lions, recognized the need for a fare increase but noted that the proposed increase will make it harder for people with fixed income.� She expressed dislike to the light rail system.
Zak Cribari, Interested Citizen, expressed concern on the mismanagement of money.� Mr. Cribari noted that people do not deserve to suffer for the choices that the Board has made.� Mr. Cribari urged the Board to take the public comments into consideration.
Jerry Grace, Interested Citizen, cautioned VTA that riders might not take the bus service anymore.
Board Member Gonzales left his seat at 7:10 p.m.
Alicia Dominguez, CFJ, expressed concern on fare increases and noted that VTA might lose riders if fares are increased.�
Board Members Gonzales and Williams took their seats at 7:11 p.m.
Noted that raising fares is a complicated and difficult decision.� Explained that�80 percent of VTAs revenue come from sales tax and noted that sales tax in the last ten quarters is still low.
Thanked staff for the report.� Expressed opposition to the fare increase because it will impact the community.
Explained that the fare increase is the only way to maintain VTAs financial health.� Stated that ridership is impacted by employment and noted that employment levels here in the County has not substantially improved.� Stated that VTA has subsidized fares for a long time and noted that the current financial situation would not be able to subsidize fares any longer.
Affirmed support for the fare increase.� Commented that the Ad Hoc Financial Stability Committee has met every week for nine months to create a Fare Policy.� Noted that the Ad Hoc Financial Stability Committees work should be respected.
Inquired how long after the fare increase will the ridership be back to normal.� Inquired about the increase for ECO Pass.�
Suggested a minor change on the youth monthly pass that will change the amount from $52 to $49.
Expressed appreciation to the public for making their voices heard.� Requested a status report on progress of model and its relation to staff projections.� Further requested staff to continue looking for alternatives to minimize impacts.� Requested the public to bear with the Boards decision.
Emphasized the need to establish credibility with the public.����������������
Complimented staff for their hard work.� Expressed opposition to fare increase.